Writing is a skill that everyone should aspire to have since it remains a requirement past high school. There will be reports to write at work, emails to send, and meetings to hold where this skill will come in handy. Although not everyone is born with the talent, a little daily practice could turn even the dullest writer into a wizard.
What Does Writing Style Mean?
A writing style is a way in which a writer expresses himself or herself. Oftentimes, the best writers write as they speak to bring out a natural style that keeps readers engaged. The tone and voice that one chooses when writing depends on the context; business writing could require some degree of formality while a casual tone will suffice in regular blogging.
There is no one right tone or voice since it is determined by the circumstances. A good writer knows how to tweak their skill to easily move between writing styles to appeal to their target audience.
Types of Writing Styles
There are several types of writing styles, but we will focus on four that we feel to be the most relevant.
This style works best when you want to capture the mind of the reader. You will be as detailed with the description as possible to paint a picture of the events to the reader. Poets and creative writers favor this style of writing.
This style is used when delivering information as opposed to storytelling or entertainment. You use it when delivering facts such as in news articles, scientific writing, and academic essays, among others. It is one of the formal writing styles adopted.
In this style, the writer convinces the reader to adopt their way of thinking. Most academic writers will use it in essays to convince their audience – mainly the professor – to accept their point of view. It is also common in letters of recommendation and cover letters.
There is a setting, plot, and characters in this form of expression, as you see them in a fictional novel or soap operas. It is purely creative and meant to capture the attention of the reader from beginning to end. If you’re wondering how to improve your writing as a creative writer, reading material from other authors is a good place to start.
Tips for Improving your Writing Style
Top of the list of things you should do to make your writing better is writing often. The brain is like a machine that needs regular oiling, and writing does that for your creative juices. The more you write, the better you become.
Here are our top seven tips for becoming a better writer.
Use Simple Words
Simpler words have a straightforward meaning most of the time as opposed to their more complex counterparts that may have more than one meaning. This says you are likely to misspeak when you use simple words. You also want to remember you are writing for people and most readers do not like struggling with the meaning of words. If someone needs to look up a phrase before they read further, you are likely to lose them.
Another thing that comes to a reader’s mind when they read complex words – and that separates an amateur’s work from that of a professional – is that the writer is trying too hard. The writing becomes hard to connect with, and eventually, no one will read till the end. Keep it simple to capture the reader’s attention.
Read Often from Various Authors
Reading good samples from respected authors will help you improve your own writing style. You could also order samples from reliable essay writers to serve as an example of how a good essay should read. Reading an essay from a professional writer then using it to build your skills gives you guidance as you work on your own formal material.
While at reading, it helps to have a wide range of writers you can fall back to each time you need to up your game, diversifying your thinking with different topics also makes you a better communicator since you become conversant in as many topics as possible. So, while you are gaining knowledge, you are also becoming at your essay writing skills. Win-win situation.
Shorten your Sentences
Another way on how to get better at writing essays is by keeping the sentences short. You want to read your sentences out loud to tell whether they are too long. Over time, you will be able to tell l just by looking at a sentence whether it would make more sense cutting it into two. While attempting to make this possible, you want to remember to make those shorter sentences complete. It shouldn’t sound as though it was left hanging.
Shorter paragraphs also make content readable. Reducing yours to four sentences could make a world of difference in your content. You want to ensure to start a paragraph at a point that it can stand alone, a failure to which it will be left hanging. One more thing under this point: make your content clean and fluff-free. You manage that by using as few words as possible to make your point.
Be Gender Neutral of Sensitive
Now, what do good writers do when discussing any topic? They bear in mind that their audience is comprised of more than one gender, and so they address this. It would be uncouth to say;
“Today’s successful CEO is one that is able to focus on both the home-front and the international market. He should be an all-rounded fellow who keeps tabs on the changing times and trends.”
Unless the writer is talking about a specific male CEO, it would be wrong to use this masculine generic. The segment of female readers reading this will certainly be left out. You can either choose to use s/he or simply prefer the pronoun ‘they’ that is gender-neutral.
Use the Active Voice
The active voice is generally stronger than the passive voice. It also helps you avoid fluff since you will automatically use fewer words. For instance, “People flooded the city” vs. “The city was flooded by people.” The active phrase was only four words long, which is what you target when trying to keep your audience engaged. While it is not possible to use this voice throughout, try to have it as much as possible. The few passive statements that will remain will not weaken an entire article.
Use a Natural Tone – write as you speak
One of the best ways to write is to use the same tone you do when speaking and then modify it a little to suit the occasion. This means using natural phrases, simple sentences, and easy structures that a reader will not struggle through. While we say to write as you speak, you want to avoid self-reference (in my opinion, what I think, I believe). These phrases are best-used for opinion pieces only. The best persona in most cases is the second since it distances you from your content while drawing in the reader. The text is all about the audience, so it is important that they feel this.
Use descriptive words to express yourself instead of being on the fence with your feelings. Forceful words make your point clear, and the reader knows what you stand for from the get-go. Vague expressions are spineless and make your writing mediocre at best. Where you are expressing a personal opinion and you use strong, specific words, your writing may be branded controversial, but it is better than mediocrity.
Practice for Perfection
Strive for progress over perfection by writing continually to improve your skill. You also want to remember to ask for help where things get too hard, and thankfully you can easily hire a professional to show you the ropes. Also, enjoy the process.